As the depressed economic state of the U.S. continues, home trends shift from large residential subdivisions towards small scale infill development projects. The 2011 American Institute of Architects (AIA) third quarter Home Design Trends Survey reflects the current desires of today’s buyer towards affordability, access to public transportation, commercial opportunities and job centers.
The survey reveals consumers are favoring simple home styles made of durable building materials, such as fiber-cement, stone, tile and natural earth plasters. This trend supports the growing interest towards low-maintenance and affordable housing.
Furthermore, multigenerational housing and more community interaction is becoming increasingly popular. Although an increase in Hispanic and Asian populations may influence this trend, there is no doubt that more Americans are choosing to live with family members in order to cope with worsening economic conditions.
U.S. residential architecture firms continue to report weak business conditions. However, even though all major residential construction sectors remain in decline, project backlogs are slowly rising and remodeling activity continues to heighten.
“On the development side, low levels of new home construction, steep foreclosure rates and a surge in the popularity of urban living are the primary reasons for high levels of infill projects,” said AIA Chief Economist, Kermit Baker, PhD, Hon. AIA. “From a home design perspective the preference is for building materials such as fiber-cement, stone, tile or natural earth plasters that are durable and require little maintenance.”
Conducted quarterly with a panel of over 500 architecture firms concentrated in the residential sector, the AIA Home Design Trend Survey focuses on the current trends of community and neighborhood design.